Sunshine Bay, between Harrop and Procter, is home to a regional park. (Greg Nesteroff photo)

PLACE NAMES: Stewartsville and Sunshine Bay

The Woodland Park subdivision of Castlegar used to be called Stewartsville. But who was Stewart?

One-hundred eighty-seventh in an alphabetical series on West Kootenay/Boundary place names

Stewartville (or Stewartsville) is an old name for the Woodland Park subdivision of Castlegar. Some sources say it was actually another name for Kinnaird, but both names were in use at the same time. Stewartville came first, however. The earliest known mention is in the Trail News of June 6, 1908: “J.D. Anderson is laying out [the Trail-Castlegar wagon road] along the river. It will follow … the west side to Stewartville (between Waterloo and Castlegar) and the east side to Castlegar Station.”

Lillian Killough wrote in the Castlegar News of Sept. 28, 1967: “Almost opposite our house the property owned by Mrs. Kurvuluk near Castleaird Plaza was a railroad siding called Stewartsville where the logs were loaded on to flat cars ready to be taken to the mill.”

The British Columbia Centennial Directory (1967) elaborated: “There used to be a small logging town about one half mile north of the present Kinnaird service station. This town was built around 1906 by a man named Stewart who was a logging contractor for a man named Genelle. The name of the town was Stewartsville and the buildings stood for many years … The old town was finally burned to the ground in 1921.”

In Harold Webber’s People and Places, a Mr. Foggo stated that Stewartsville “was called after the superintendent of the sawmill at China Creek, Deschamps mill.”

So who was this man? And was Stewart his first name or last? It’s not obvious. One candidate is John G. Stewart, listed as a rancher at Castlegar in the 1910 civic directory. But he’s not on the 1911 census nor in the directory for Kinnaird in 1918, the first year it was included, although nearly all its residents then worked in lumbering. Stewartsville never merited its own directory entry.

The last known mention, albeit misspelled, was in the Nelson Daily News of Jan. 7, 1920: “Barney Lawrie returned home last evening having spent the last week as the guest of Joe Killough of Stewarksville [sic].”

SUNSHINE BAY

In recent years, Harrop and Procter have unofficially amalgamated to the point where people speak of “Harrop-Procter” in the same breath.

But there’s another place between them: Sunshine Bay. In Kootenay Outlet Reflections, Ted Affleck wrote that “viewed from a steamer working down the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, the broad arc of Sunshine Bay lay clearly defined on the south side of the Arm between the neck of the Procter (or Fraser) Narrows and the delta of Harrop (Mill) Creek.”

Sunshine Bay was a farming and fruit ranching settlement, home to a packing shed. It was first mentioned in a less than sunny light in the Nelson Daily Canadian of Aug. 31, 1906: “F. Rooks of Sunshine bay attacked Mr. Croasdaile for his connection with the Mine Owners’ association. His oratory was impassioned but largely unintelligible.”

The next mention in the Vancouver Daily World of May 4, 1907 noted that S.M. Brydges and Dr. David LeBau, owners of the Cold Spring ranch, had decided to subdivide their holdings: “The ranch is situated on the edge of a bench overlooking Sunshine bay and commands a grand view of the lake and mountains.”

However, the CPR preferred the name Mallow. It appeared that way on the timetable of May 31, 1914. Its significance is unknown. It might refer to the malvacae family of plants, to a town in Ireland, a village in Iran, or a community in Virginia. We just don’t know.

Sunshine Bay is home to a regional park, part of which is leased to the Sunshine Bay Riding Club. The name is also enshrined in Sunshine Bay Wharf Road. Mallow is long forgotten.